The Council

A group of people sit around tables, facing the camera, voting by raising their hands

The Council plays a key role in looking after nature, beauty and history for future generations. Its members help us keep connected with our supporters, advise on important decisions and inform strategy.

What does the Council do?

The Council plays an important role in how the National Trust is governed. Its main responsibilities are to appoint Trustees and to support and monitor their work. Council members meet three times a year to debate key strategic issues and advise the Board of Trustees. They also use their networks to inspire support for the Trust among members and the wider public. 

Who's involved?

The Council is made up of 36 members that have a range of expertise in everything from education and agriculture to nature and the built environment. Half are elected by National Trust members and half are from organisations which have a connection to the Trust. 

Council members serve an initial term of three years, and are then eligible to restand. Council elections take place every year with applications usually opening in March ahead of an election ballot in the autumn. The results of this ballot are announced at the AGM.  
Hear from the Council
National Trust Council member Min Grimshaw

Min Grimshaw

'I wanted to join the Council because, as someone with working-class roots, who’s a second-generation immigrant, hard of hearing, an Aston Villa season ticket holder and only started visiting National Trust properties in my twenties, I thought it would be good to offer a different perspective. What speaks to me most about the Trust's work is the way it balances accessibility and preservation. My local Trust places have been a safe place for toddlers to explore, somewhere to walk the dog, or enjoy a civilised tea minus the kids! And this comes together with the great work in preserving the offering for generations to come. If anyone was thinking of applying to join the Council, I’d say to go for it. There are a wide range of opinions, but this leads to respectful debate and agreement on the best way forward.'

National Trust Council member Darren York

Darren York

'I’ve had the pleasure of exploring many wonderful places protected by the National Trust, but places of natural beauty and historic interest aside, I know how committed the Trust is to inclusion and diversity and it's this aspect of the Trust’s work that fascinates me most right now. Too many people are missing out on the benefits that connecting with natural and built heritage brings, and the Trust is serious about reaching out to new audiences. The sector in which the Trust operates is not renowned for its diversity, but this is an organisation that genuinely wants to do something about that. So, if you’re thinking of applying to join the Council but worrying, for whatever reason, whether you’re the right fit, let me encourage you to start the conversation. The Council would be delighted to hear from you.'

Headshot of a woman leaning against a wall

Sarah Green

‘The variety of expertise on the Council is incredible. We’ve got conservation, agriculture, technology, finance and heritage experts; everyone brings something different to the table. I’m particularly interested in small businesses, place-making and community regeneration. As a Council member, I get an insider’s perspective on the Trust, which is really valuable. We go on an annual in-depth regional tour, which last year was to the East of England. It opened my eyes to the challenges involved in looking after the nation’s heritage. The Council needs active, enthusiastic people with diverse perspectives. If you have a passion for the Trust and are willing to contribute, listen and challenge, then I’d definitely recommend applying.’

Meet the Council

The Council makes sure we stay true to our purpose as a charity. It's responsibilities include appointing the Board of Trustees (our governing body), and monitoring and supporting their work.

Meet the Council (PDF/0.7MB) download